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A Classical Musician's Game Theory

On her new album, <em>Game Music,</em> violinist Angèle Dubeau plays video game music with her string quartet, La Pieta.
Courtesy of the artist
On her new album, Game Music, violinist Angèle Dubeau plays video game music with her string quartet, La Pieta.

Though it may not be on any singles charts, the theme from Angry Birds is likely one of the most widely heard pieces of music ever. For Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau, that's just one reason to take it seriously — even though it originated in a video game.

On her latest album, Game Music — or, in her home of Quebec, Musique de jeux vidéo — Dubeau interprets a variety of video game themes with her string quartet, La Pieta. "I always thought, 'Good music is good music,' " Dubeau tells NPR's Robert Siegel.

The group isn't reinventing the wheel: Dubeau says the Tetris theme, an arrangement of which appears on Game Music, is based on a traditional Russian folk song and a suite by Bach. La Pieta also takes on the cinematic theme music of the Halo series.

"One of my previous albums was music from movies, and when you think of it, it's just the same thing," Dubeau says. "The music has to speak at the same time as the action."

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NPR Staff